Kyoto City, Japan

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City, is located in the western part of the country known as Kansai. It is the seventh largest city in Japan, with a population of 1.4 million, 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and more universities per capita than any other Japanese city. Rich in history and often considered the cultural capital of Japan, it is a place where the arts and technological innovation converge to create a dynamic, contemporary culture. You will find shops that have been in business for over a thousand years, as well as merchants and artisans creating the most avant-garde trends in art, architecture, fashion, and cuisine.  

Tufts in Japan, offered in partnership with the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS), one of the leading Japanese studies programs, invites you to experience the rich, vibrant culture of Kyoto. Enroll in intensive Japanese language and disciplinary courses while integrating into the social and cultural life at Doshisha University. Further immerse yourself in Japanese society by participating in a Community Involvement Project, a core part of the Tufts in Japan/KCJS experience.  

Terms Fall, Spring, Full Year
Language Prerequisites 

Fall or Full Year: Japanese 2, or equivalent

Spring: Japanese 3, or equivalent  

GPA Requirement  3.0
Program Partner Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) 
Language of Instruction  Japanese, English
Housing  Homestay, Student Dormitory 



This program is open to Tufts undergraduates who meet the general eligibility requirements. Fall and full year participants must have successfully completed at least Japanese 2 or the equivalent by the time of departure; spring participants must have completed at least Japanese 3 or the equivalent by the time of departure.  

Students from all academic majors are encouraged to apply, although course options are limited to primarily Japanese language, history, and culture.  

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies and Doshisha University  

Established in 1989, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a consortium of 13 U.S.-based institutions that sponsors a rigorous academic program for undergraduates who wish to do advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies. The KCJS mission is to educate and empower students and help them engage and explore all facets of Japan by offering three integrated components: academic rigor, community engagement, and understanding the experience through a global lens. 

KCJS is jointly administered between Columbia University’s Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement and a staff of full-time faculty and administrators based in Kyoto. The program’s center and classrooms are centrally located on Doshisha University’s Imadegawa campus. 

Doshisha University, founded in 1875, is regarded as one of the top private institutions in Japan. The university comprises 14 undergraduate and 16 graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and enrolls approximately 30,000 students across four campuses in Kyoto.


Students enroll in an intensive Japanese language course that meets for two hours per day, five days per week; the level is determined by a placement test. In addition, students also enroll in elective courses taught in Japanese or English; many include co-curricular excursions as part of the curriculum. Students can expect to have 2-3 classmates who are native Japanese speakers enrolled at Doshisha and/or Kyoto University in their disciplinary courses. The following is a brief overview of the types of elective courses available: 

  • KCJS Courses: specially developed courses, taught exclusively for the program by instructors that use the city of Kyoto, its past and present, to showcase the humanities, the sciences, social sciences, and pressing global topics. 
  • Project/Theme-Based Japanese: designed for students who want to improve their Japanese in a specific area or field of study, based upon a project of their design. 
  • Independent Study: students who want to explore a specific research topic in-depth and acquire the methodological and analytical skills necessary for academic research may apply to do an independent study.  
  • Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) Courses: a limited number of students are able to cross-register for one AKP elective course per semester; students who require specific credits as part of their degree program are given priority.

Please note that KCJS reserves the right to withdraw or modify courses as necessary.   

Be sure to review our academic policies for education abroad and plan accordingly with your academic advisor(s).   

Review TGE Academic Policies

Community Involvement Project 

In addition to their coursework, all students participate in a Community Involvement Project (CIP), which fosters a deeper connection with the local community and culture through various opportunities, including volunteering, in-depth study of traditional arts or music, teaching assistantships, or participation in student clubs or activities.  

Student Life


The onsite KCJS staff conducts a 2- or 3-day orientation program that introduces students to KCJS, the city of Kyoto, and the surrounding area. During orientation, KCJS students are paired with local students to help them settle in and navigate tasks like moving into their housing or getting a local phone.  

Housing and Meals  

Tufts students will be required to choose the homestay or student dormitory option. 

Homestay: Homestays are highly encouraged. Students in homestays are provided with breakfast and dinner each day with the host family, as well as a lunch subsidy to cover daily lunches. 

Student Dormitory: Breakfast and dinner are provided Monday-Saturday, and students receive a lunch subsidy to cover lunches on these days. Students are responsible for all meals on Sundays. The dorm menus may have limited vegetarian options. Students must provide advance notice if they choose to not eat meals in the dorm on certain days. 

Extracurricular Activities  

Students are strongly encouraged to be active in Kyoto’s vibrant cultural life, including extracurricular activities offered both on- and off-campus. As full members of the Doshisha University community, students have access to campus facilities, events, and over 400 student clubs and organizations.  

Each semester, the program takes students on an overnight trip outside of Kyoto; past destinations have included Okayama, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. The program also arranges conversation partners, guest lectures, and cultural activities to enable students to deepen their connections to Japanese culture, their local peers from Doshisha and Kyoto Universities, and the Kyoto community. 

Kyoto is compact and easy to get around, on foot, by bike, or on its excellent public transportation system of subways, trains, and buses. The Kamo River runs through town and provides a great place for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and musicians. The city is full of museums (even a manga and a kanji museum), art galleries, cinemas, concert halls, live theaters, and clubs for live music. 

Student Perspectives

The KCJS program in Kyoto was an incredibly supportive program that cultivated my language skills, cultural knowledge, and social immersion in Kyoto. The staff were helpful in any question you could have–from recommendations of nearby farms to volunteer at to registering for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). The language courses, although every weekday morning, were engaging and fast-paced. Cultural excursions included seeing traditional Japanese theatre, visiting host families at temple flea markets, and hiking Daimonji, a famous mountain in Kyoto. I am so glad to have participated in KCJS and hope to visit next time I am in Japan.

Fall 2022 Participant

Program Staff

KCJS has onsite staff who not only provide program participants with academic advising and student affairs support, but also arrange excursions and other local activities. 

Dates and Fees

2024-2025 Program Fees

Semester: $44,646 ($34,573 tuition plus $10,073 program fee) | Full Year: $89,292 ($69,146 tuition plus $20,146 program fee)

What’s included:

  • Orientation program 
  • Full food and housing (students electing certain housing options will be responsible for additional room and board costs) 
  • Full tuition and fees at KCJS  
  • Co-curricular activities 
  • Cultural events and excursions

What's not included:

  • Airfare and other travel costs (visas, etc.) are not included; student is responsible for these charges.

For more details on Tufts University's Cost of Attendance, please consult Financial Services' Direct and Indirect Costs for Undergraduate Students.

 Review TGE Financial Considerations

Academic Calendar

Note that dates are approximate and subject to change.  

Fall Semester: Late August to mid-December

Spring Semester: Early/mid-January to late April

Additional Resources